7 Things You Must Do Before Winter Hits

November 10, 2015

Brace yourselves, winter is coming.

You’ve moved in, you unpacked and now summer is a far fading memory. It’s time to prepare your new home for fall and winter to come. This is my favorite time of the year. November is perfect sweater weather, pumpkin spiced everything, and Thanksgiving is upon us.

Fall is the perfect time to take care of the little things before the real cold weather settles in. Lucky you if you have warm weather all year long, but for the rest of us, it’s time to do a few things.

1. Clean out the gutters.

All the leaves and grime that accumulated those hot summer months on top of your roof, need to be cleaned. If they are full of debris, clogged drains form ice dams that prevent your gutters working properly. Save yourself from the hassle of leaving it last minute and be sure to run water through the gutters to make sure they’re working properly.

2. Check your boiler/furnace.

You may have forgotten about the boiler/furnace since you last powered it on. Now that the chilly weather is here, you will need to inspect and switch it on again. Clean all the sediment build-up since this will cause the system to work less effectively or may become a fire-hazard. Cleaning the system and having a professional inspect it will reduce the risks.

3. Clean the fireplace and the chimney.

It’s finally time for some evenings by the fire but before you lit the chimney, be sure to clear out the ash, and charred wood that was left behind. Check the damper to ensure it can be tightly closed to prevent drafts.

4. Check the drafts.

Seal gaps and cracks around the windows and doors with weather-stripping or caulk. This can account for a 10% of your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

5. Stay warm without heater.

Use a space heater instead of heating the entire house, and when you sleep, you can use an electric blanket.

6. Prepare your lawn and garden.

Prune your shrubs they’ll do well in the first snow. Water them in the first frost, because they will dry out. Most people don’t think of hydrating their shrubs this time of year.

7. Drain your sprinkler systems.

If you have irrigation systems, drain, and blow them out so they don’t freeze. Shut and drain the outside spigots because they will freeze too.

Now that fall is here, it’s time to prepare the home for cold weather. If you take these steps, they will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment.

Have you taken any other steps to getting your home ready for winter?

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